There is a difference between peace and quiet. A gulf that falls between. Peace isn’t mine to seek, not mine to look for, not mine to secure. Peace is given not taken. Peace is impossibly above me. Peace isn’t something you can find in a shop, or a building, nor on top of a mountain with a monk, nor in the movement of body and sinew tying up in pretzel knots. If you can just empty your mind you will not find peace within. You might find quiet.
Quiet drips from monied retreats, from the beaks of the crows that feed off the destruction and the disease. Quiet drips from the hands of the politicians wasted, pouring through their fingers like water, spent in the red of our precious sons on soil. Do their deaths mean nothing to these men? Quiet falls softly from the years disturbed by the screamers and the shouters. I watch a man say “humans control themselves” and wonder how much longer I am supposed to be adamite? Controlled. Why must I be controlled while others act like beasts? Why must I tolerate while they try to kill me and everything I love? I am like a petulant child stamping her foot shouting it is not fair. The noise doesn’t care, it continues just the same.
I am like that piglet in the peta videos, cast out of its mother’s womb, deformed and broken, diseased and rotting, to wallow in the shit and the corruption, turning blue as other pigs test it’s flesh for savor, themselves cyst ridden, ulcerated. That which feeds on corruption is corrupt itself. There is some truth there. There is nowhere left to run, and it’s legs are broken anyhow. It lays there squealing waiting for the miracle to come, but there is none.
I commit murder on soybeans. I am ruthless to potatoes. I am a terror to teff and amaranth. My vegetable love grows slowly.
Quiet, it is quiet I seek. The quiet to be found in mutual respect and decency. The quiet to be found in success and prosperity. The quiet to be found in a privacy that can be purchased or given, but not taken. You can’t take quiet without destroying it. A life that is a dull tick of calendar days passing. A fence. A door that closes that belongs to me. I am not expecting the sharp rub of pain to cease, nor the sadnesses and losses. An undisturbed life. A life of quiet.
And if one day peace comes sounding from the sky, heralded by a horn, I shall sit here quietly surprised.